Programme Advisers

Programme Chair, Helen Lippell
Helen has run her own consultancy since 2007, working as a specialist in taxonomy, metadata, ontologies and enterprise search. She loves getting stuck into projects, and working with clients to figure out how best to use the messy content and data they have. She has worked for organisations including the BBC, gov.uk, Financial Times, Time Out, RIBA, Metropolitan Police, Pearson, Electronic Arts and the Press Association. She writes and speaks regularly, and is always good-humoured if anyone asks her if she stuffs animals for a living.

Cynthia Knowles
Cynthia is a qualified information specialist who has developed and championed information projects in diverse sectors. Her areas of expertise include the design of taxonomies and thesauri to manage content and enhance user navigation, knowledge management, legal and business research, and competitive intelligence.


Aref Makooi
Currently Senior UX Architect at the BBC, Aref has been an information professional for over 30 years. He achieved his PhD in the early 90s. He has been working as a freelance consultant for the past 15 years working with private, public and international clients devising IA and UX strategies, research and user testing, taxonomies and metadata schema. Aref is an ISKO Executive Committee Member and lives and works in London.

Michael UpshallMichael Upshall
Michael Upshall is Head of Business Development at UNSILO, a Danish machine-learning software company providing AI-based solutions for academic and professional publishers. A former publisher, he is familiar with the opportunities and challenges faced by content owners as they implement digital content enrichment. Publishers he has worked with include Random House, Pearson, TSO, The IET, and CABI. At Cambridge University Press he managed the book and journals online platforms, and has worked in a product role with software developers and technology organisations such as JISC.